The current approach to kidney treatment is ripe for reinvention. As many as one in seven Americans suffer from chronic kidney disease, and caring for them uses one in five Medicare dollars. With a growing caseload of diabetes — a precursor to kidney injury — kidney health will demand even greater attention in the years ahead.
One way forward will be to innovate in prevention and early detection. Only a minority of people with damaged kidneys know about their condition. New efforts in predictive analytics may identify people at high risk of kidney disease and those at risk of getting worse. Evidence shows that catching the disease earlier can lead to better management, fewer complications and lower costs.
Making that kind of difference calls for a bird’s eye view of the patient’s health. CVS Kidney Care launched in 2018 to bring clinical and quality of life improvements to patients with kidney disease. It focuses on identification of chronic kidney disease, targeted engagement and ongoing education to help slow disease progression, facilitate more kidney transplants and bring innovations in home dialysis to patients who can benefit from it.